Week in Review: Computers of Tomorrow Edition

What are you reading, watching, thinking about this week? Anything special with some time off or is there too much going on with the holiday?

As usual, here’s a few which have been on our mind. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.

1. Expanding Your Reach: Want to spread your ideas beyond the sound of your voice? The higher ed website ProfHacker.com shares some tips and tricks for effective “lecturecasting.” Here’s a sample, on the importance of having a script:

If you are going formal, make sure you have a script.  Even if you aren’t going formal, its always good to have some talking points.  If you are going to record your talking head (as opposed to talking over some slides or video material), put the script at eye level somewhere.  There is nothing worse than having to look down at a sheet of paper to figure out what you need to talk about next.  I put my script up on one of my other monitors (which I’ve got positioned just behind my laptop – the machine on which I do the actual recording).  This way, I can scroll through the script without looking away at all.

2. Keeping Up with Journals: Another practical article from ProfHacker.com, offering a number of ways that you can keep up with the latest journals in your specialty, whether online or in print.

3. Academic Bait and Switch: The pseudonymous “Henry Adams” has been writing in the Chronicle about his experiences as a English PhD candidate at “Elite National University.” His title – Academic Bait and Switch – refers both to his students’ expectations of attending an “elite” institution with world-renowned faculty, only to be taught in reality by graduate students just a few years older than themselves, and also to his own expectations of graduate school running aground with reality. In this installment, Adams describes a recent lecture series given to the grad students by the tenure-track faculty. He learns much more than intended about the “real world” of academia. In the selection below, one of the faculty, “Dr. Ethos,” has just recommended a seemingly impossible rate of work.

When she implied that a human being could grade six essays an hour—and do a good job of it—Dr. Ethos was lying. Even a novice knew that. I also knew that performing as a grad student meant not challenging my superiors, but I gave in to the desire that Edgar Allan Poe labels the imp of the perverse, the urge to do something just because I shouldn’t. I raised my hand and said politely, “It’s good to know that I need to grade six papers per hour, but right now I can handle only four. Could you and the other professors give us tips on how you reach the six-per-hour rate?”

Dr. Ethos stared in my general direction without making eye contact. Silence. I looked around the room. Dr. Dreedle and Dr. Cathcart, the only tenured persons in the room, glared right at me, but the junior professors all stared at the tops of their desks, just like my freshmen did when they couldn’t answer a question.

4.Billy Graham, Evangelist to…TED? I (Mike) had no idea that Billy Graham spoke at TED in 1998. (HT: Don’t Eat the Fruit.) His topic, before this cutting-edge crowd of tech prophets and design gurus: Technology and Faith. As John Dyer summarizes,

His basic message is simple: technology brings amazing benefits to humanity, but it’s failure to alleviate the brokenness of the human heart ultimately point us to our need for a Savior.

5. Article about Wheaton Canceled by Books & Culture: Andrew Chignell’s article, exploring the present condition and possible future for Wheaton College, was almost published by Books & Culture (Inside Higher Ed), but was pulled at the last minute. Instead, it has been published by the SoMA Review. Chignell, an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell and a Wheaton alumnus, provides his side of the back story on his website, WhitherWheaton.org. (Note: the comments on the IHE article say much about the current state of academia; Jerry Pattengale, Douglas Groothius, Louis Gallien, and others of note weigh in.)

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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  • c.alexander.bernard@gmail.com'
    Chris commented on January 30, 2010 Reply

    Great pick up on the Wheaton Story!!! I read the article last week and thought it was fair and even handed.

  • amywung@gmail.com'
    Amy commented on February 1, 2010 Reply

    Huh…Billy Graham at TED. I’ve never actually heard Billy Graham speak, so this was a good find.

    I do like his opening – it is warm and humble. I wonder that he attempts to speak on sin before speaking on the idea of us being en-souled. I tend to think of TED attendees as “my people” (nerds with short attention spans, who have little to no real religious background), and my experiences with my people tell me that they have at least ten prerequisite steps to wrestle with before the idea of sin could even sound anything less than legalism or silliness.

    But it’s gratifying to hear him say that religion & science are not enemies. And amusing to hear him talk about the Internet as the coming future.

    And he does get quite a round of applause, doesn’t he? Interesting…

    • mike@emergingscholars.org'
      Mike Hickerson commented on February 1, 2010 Reply

      I think you’re right – the idea of sin has really become quite foreign in these circles. Since this was 12 years ago, (and maybe TED was trending older at that point?) I wonder if the Christian narrative was a more common cultural touchstone than it is now.

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